My name is Susan. I have been in the nursing field for 25 years and I have worked in surgery, recovery room and on the floor.

How do you get started in the nursing field?

  • Finish high school with a GPA above 3.0 and get high scores on ACT and SAT.
  • Try to volunteer in hospital or clinic settings
  • Try to apply to a 4 year nursing school for BSN, if you don’t get in the first time try, try again. School is very demanding, students that are weak leave and so be diligent and focus on doing well on NCLEX exams.
  • Being open to diversity and fast pace of healthcare setting is key to success.

What are the PROS about being a nurse?

  • helping people can be very fulfilling
  • challenging work
  • bachelor’s degree can go further in nursing
  • great job opportunities
  • so many specialized areas to choose from
  • many jobs available or self-employable
  • flexible hours
  • good pay with benefits

What are the CONS about being a nurse?

  • Watching patients die can be emotionally draining
  • The stress that comes with the challenge at the work place
  • With only an associate’s degree in nursing you cannot advance further in this career
  • High turnover and burn out
  • Hours and responsibility are different for each area in nursing
  • Long hours can be demanding

 What can you do with the different degree levels?

  • With Associates you can do anything a BSN does but cannot advance forward in the career. You are stuck in a rut.
  • BSN you can advance to many positions in management.
  • With masters the sky is the limit since you can apply for nurse practitioner school, or education to teach, informatics for hospitals etc.
  •  Higher level degrees results in a higher professional ladder which results in better outcome for a career.

How to be successful in your field and balance family?

Giving a 100% of yourself can be very taxing but yet very rewarding, knowing the patient received the best care by the end of the day. No different than taking care of a family at home, taxing but rewarding knowing you have done best for your family by the end of the day.

Just like any job, at home set limitations, delegate tasks; try to do chores sporadically and not all at once. Take some me time to relax and recuperate. Trying not to be a super mom, ask for help.